Verona Joins Malala’s Shout for Female Education
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In early March, Verona High School opened its doors to the public and the high school’s Girls Learn International club welcomed fellow advocators for girls’ education to a screening of the film He Named Me Malala.
Opening the film is the legend of Malalai, who Malala Yousafzai is named after. Malalai was a national folk hero of Afghanistan who, during the Second Anglo-Afghan War, rallied fighters to victory with her words, “Young love! If you do not fall in the battle of Maiwand, By God, someone is saving you as a symbol of shame!”
By her father giving her the name he did, Malala’s destiny becomes connected to that of her namesake. Like Malalai, Malala uses her voice to fight her oppressors and rally people behind her cause. “I think that the best way to solve problems and to fight is through dialogue, is through peaceful ways,” she believes. Both heroines believe that death by fighting for what you believe in is better than living a life in shame for not fighting.
The film consists of many inspiring speeches that led the Pakistani activist to the title of the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate. Malala’s message is simple: “The only way we can create global peace is through not only educating our minds, but our hearts and our soul.s Global education in reading, writing, and arithmetic is an important stepping stone, but it is not enough. We must instill in future generations the knowledge of new social norms rooted in equality and tolerance. Malala asks viewers to pick up our most powerful weapons, our books and our pens, because “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
Malala has transformed her words into actions through the establishment of the Malala Fund. This organization advocates for resource and policy changes to ensure all girls complete 12 years of school. The fund encourages girls around the world to help amplify the voice informing national leaders about the resources the girls need to reach their potential.
Similarly, the Girls Learn International Program supports the empowerment of U.S. students as they embark on their journey of becoming leaders and activists for social change. The Verona High School Chapter continually energizes its members and surrounding townsfolk in the global movement for the global education of girls.
“My favorite thing about GLI is that we make a difference in girls’ lives on a global scale,” says club president Olivia Lucanie. The club creates a network that joins local activists with international organizations to successfully bring about a global change.
“I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.” VHS is no longer those without a voice, we are those who raise their voice alongside of other activists for female education.